Want folks to vote? Give ‘em a tax break | Street Jazz

Want folks to vote? Give ‘em a tax break

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We have heard much over the recent years about declaring Election Day a sort of holiday, so that folks can use the day to vote. Whole I applaud the sentiment, I think it is a tad impractical - for reasons I’ll go into - and think we should offer folks a tax incentive, instead. Yes, let nonvoters pay more to the IRS.

It doesn’t have to be an awful lot, just enough so that nonvoters might start to take their civic responsibilities a little more seriously.

I am all in favor of anything which can get voters to the polls, and an election holiday would certainly help many who who find it difficult to get to the polling place in the first place, but there are certain obstacles that I see.

First off, way too many people would simply use it as any other day off. Nothing we could do about that. And in the second place, I fear the inevitable “Election Day Sales” - sort of a precursor to the dreary Black Friday - which would not only offer stupendous savings to shoppers, but would serve to keep many of their employees at work.

Actually, I’m surprised that we haven’t already seen the advent of such sales efforts. I hope that nobody reads this and decides it would be a good idea for next year.

And really, when you think about it, so many businesses are open on most holidays anyway - stores, restaurants, police and fire departments, that sort of thing.

It has been suggested that folks might simply be able to get a chit from the County Clerk, certifying that they had voted, so their employers would pay them for the day.

That might work, but not for industrial workers. Factories - and other such institutions - can not plan shifts not knowing how many (a tenth, a third, or even half) of their line workers may be Missing Action that day.

When you think about it, most businesses would be in the same boat.

No, give everybody who takes the time to vote - whether on Election Day or via early voting - something they can attach to their tax forms in the spring. The same system could be in place for those who vote by absentee ballots; the US Mail is a fine thing, and I believe it is well up to task of delivering one more piece of mail.

What do you think?

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